Interior design can seem like an inaccessible service for many. But with the launch of Roomlab, a new online service connecting designers with customers through an online platform, the help and advice of an interior design could be right at your fingertips.
Suzann Bozorgi founded Roomlab after working on a number of interior design projects remotely. Everything was done online – from the initial briefs, to mockups and room plans, right down to the final, finishing touches. She realised that many people need the services of an interior designer – to help them finish off a room or redecorate an entire house – but were put off by the fees involved with home visits, consultations and in-person meetings. Instead, Roomlab connects customers with perfectly matched designers via their online tool. The entire design process is then managed online, with customers and designers interacting via the platform and working on virtual mockups of the rooms (like these beauties here!).
We chat to Suzann about how her experience to date in advertising and interior design has prepared her perfectly to launch Roomlab, her own design style at home and her favourite furniture designer.
How did the idea for Roomlab originate?
I’d been working as an interior designer for about 5 years but by mid 2015, I was getting an increasing number of calls from friends and family needing help with interior decor. People like you or I who didn’t didn’t know where to begin – they wanted to finish their living room or redecorate their bedroom but didn’t want to spend a fortune or have it take forever. I was also realising that my fellow designers were struggling to find flexible, creative work, particularly those who wanted to work part time due to family commitments.
After working on several projects purely online due to distance I started to realise that there was a space in the market for an online marketplace for interior design connecting customers and designers. Enter RoomLab!
You have a background in advertising and as an interior designer, how have these industries prepared you (or not!) for the life of an entrepreneur?
It sounds like a cliche but I feel like all my career history to date has meant to lead me to the launch of RoomLab. Working in advertising I developed some great business skills and I think that the creative side also helped me to develop my “eye”, learn how to edit designs for maximum impact and understand when something looks right and when it doesn’t.
RoomLab offers clients the same design service as a traditional interior designer, except all done online and for a fraction of the cost. So my experience as a practicing designer over the last 5 years has been key to developing the RoomLab offering and hopefully creating a service that people genuinely want and hopefully love!
What do you think make the conditions in the UK right for the launch of an online interior design service?
Over the past few years people have become more interested in interior design sites and Pinterest – I’ve noticed that nearly all my customers now use these and it’s a great springboard to brilliant design. This increased exposure to gorgeous interiors has meant that people that normally wouldn’t have considered an interior designer would now love to be able to access one. They don’t want to settle for generic and second best. And why should they?
People are also used to the internet offering them improved services – think Uber and AirBnB – and justifiably want access to brilliant services on their terms, to their budget and when they want them.
Does your love of beautiful properties and design translate into your own home? How would you describe your own design style?
It does! I am a complete perfectionist and a big fan of grey and neutral tones. I would say that I am modern classic in terms of design style; lots of clean lines and neutral fabrics but with a more contemporary approach – unexpected pops of colour, modern artwork and great feature lighting. I love layering textured and patterns in a real subtle way to create a bit of interest and like a lot of designers am a sucker for accessories!
Do you have a favourite furniture designer? Do you have a favourite design era?
I love Brabbu, particularly their chairs. One day I will save enough pennies for a pair of their armchairs! I love the classic 1960’s look – think Don Drapers apartment in Mad Men. Clean lines, neutral tones and fabulous statement furniture. There are a lot of pieces in Brabbu that would look perfect in this era or totally up to date now.
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